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Forcing Government Workers to Support Unions Is Wrong

(Albuquerque, NM) -- The Rio Grande Foundation, New Mexico’s free-market think tank, applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME. The decision, handed down this morning, secures the right to work for all local- and state-government employees.

The Land of Enchantment is one of more than 20 states that allow unions to collect fees from government workers regardless of whether or not they wish to associate with organized labor. A growing number of states -- now a majority -- have passed right-to-work laws, which free workers from paying fees to a union as a precondition of employment. Now, thanks to this ruling, all government employees will be able to choose whether or not to support unions.

“This is a great day for worker freedom in New Mexico,” said Rio Grande Foundation President Paul Gessing said. “For too long, working for local or state government in the Land of Enchantment has meant financially supporting a variety of union causes, including higher taxes, job-killing regulations, single-payer healthcare, and environmental extremism.”

Continued Gessing: “The Janus victory is sweet, but in New Mexico, the work is just beginning. While we have long believed that coerced union payments are unconstitutional, it is critical that we now educate government employees of their right to opt out. Unions will aggressively work to make life difficult for workers who do not support the political goals of Big Labor, but we will be providing information to those workers, explaining that they no longer have to pay if they don’t want to.”

The left and labor bosses have argued that Janus would “eviscerate” the American labor movement. This assertion belies the fact that teachers in right-to-work states such as Arizona and Oklahoma have recently gone on strike (or walked off the job) for higher pay and benefits.

“Despite Janus,” Gessing explained, “government unions will remain a voice for bigger government. But moving forward, they will no longer be able to coerce workers into paying them -- private organizations -- for the privilege of teaching, prosecuting criminals, working for the parks and recreation department, or being a first responder. The Rio Grande Foundation applauds the High Court’s decision in this landmark case.”

Live from Silver City

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